Saturday, September 18, 2010
Recapping the Minnesota, Indiana games
By Adam Rittenberg
Haven't had a chance to weigh in on Minnesota and Indiana, so here we go:
USC 32, Minnesota 21: After a very rough stretch both on and off the field, the Gophers came out with the zest I expected. They delivered the first punch with a nine-play, 69-yard drive to open the game and took a 14-13 lead midway through the third quarter on an Adam Weber touchdown pass to Da'Jon McKnight. But to pull the upset against No. 18 USC, Minnesota had to play virtually mistake free, and that didn't happen. A special teams breakdown led to the 14-13 lead lasting all of 12 seconds, and Minnesota committed three turnovers in the loss. The Gophers couldn't get their bread-and-butter run game going, as USC held Duane Bennett and crew to just 83 net yards. This type of effort likely would have drawn good reviews from the Minnesota faithful if the team had taken care of business against South Dakota. But at 1-2, Minnesota needs to beat a decent Northern Illinois team next week or things really could start going downhill.
Indiana 38, Western Kentucky 21: The Hoosiers will fly under the radar because of a super soft nonconference schedule, but the Big Ten should be take notice of Ben Chappell and his high-powered passing attack. Chappell and his receivers put on a show at Western Kentucky, as the senior quarterback completed 32 of 42 passes for a career-high 366 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Damarlo Belcher continued his hot start with 10 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown, and Tandon Doss had 62 receiving yards and a touchdown in his season debut. Indiana's passing attack will do some damage in the Big Ten, and teams like Michigan, which has major issues in the secondary, should be on notice. The Hoosiers' defense delivered a better performance than the opener, as Western Kentucky went more than 40 minutes without scoring. Indiana struggled to stop standout running back Bobby Rainey, but limited the Hilltoppers to 16 first downs and 288 total yards. My only big negative is Indiana failed to get Darius Willis and the run game going.